https://d5nxst8fruw4z.cloudfront.net/atrk.gif?account=pUuXo1IWhd10Ug
logo
Young talent in focus as Pakistan aim to end Australia drought
November 20, 2019 | 6:06 PM
by ICC
Pakistan's ICC World Test Championship campaign begins with a tough assignment first up, as they face a power-packed Australian unit in their own conditions
 
Sharelines

Sydney: Pakistan have lost their last 12 Tests on Australian soil, with the last win dating back to November 1995. Azhar Ali's young side is aiming to end the losing streak.

Pakistan's ICC World Test Championship campaign begins with a tough assignment first up, as they face a power-packed Australian unit in their own conditions.

Pakistan were decent with the bat when they last toured Australia in 2016-17, but with the bowlers conceding scores of 429, 624/8 declared and 538/8 declared in the first innings of each of the three Tests, they were always left with an uphill task.

This time, leading the charge is a group of young bowlers, who justified their selection by skittling the Australia A side out for a mere 122 in the first warm-up match. Azhar confirmed on the eve of the match that Naseem Shah, the 16-year-old speedster, will make his debut, becoming the youngest male cricketer to play his maiden Test in Australia.



For Australia, the form of their key players and their track record at the venue, where they last lost a Test more than three decades ago, give them an edge over the visitors. David Warner seems back to his fluent best after a disappointing Ashes series in England, and dismissing Steve Smith early continues to be an unsolved mystery. Their fast-bowling unit, led by Pat Cummins, the top-ranked bowler on the MRF Tyres ICC Test Rankings, seems as dangerous as ever, not to forget the guile of Nathan Lyon, the off-spinner.

Their over-reliance on Smith during the Ashes was a worry, and more consistency will be expected from Joe Burns, Travis Head, Matthew Wade, Cameron Bancroft and skipper Tim Paine himself.



Remember the last time

After a draw in the first of two Tests, the series was set up for a decider in Abu Dhabi. Batting first on a slow surface, Pakistan put up 282 with Fakhar Zaman and skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed contributing 94 each. Mohammad Abbas then picked up five wickets, as Australia were bundled out for a mere 145.

Pakistan consolidated their lead of 137, as Babar Azam (99), Sarfaraz (81), Fakhar (66) and Azhar Ali (64) powered them to 400/9 declared, setting Australia a 538-run target. Abbas did it again with another five-for, skittling the visitors out for 164 in 49.4 overs, to give Pakistan a 373-run win – their highest victory margin against Australia, in terms of runs.

STAY UPDATED
Subscribe to our newsletter and be the first to know all the latest news